What I thought was my introduction to Indian food and cooking years ago was actually an introduction to north Indian cooking — all of the Indian restaurants in my city and most of the Indian cookbooks available back then were north Indian. Since then, I've been introduced to some of the astonishing variety of cuisines that are found in the sub-continent. Now my Indian recipes could be roughly categorized as north Indian, south Indian, or something in-between.
This dry chickpea curry loaded with vegetables — potato, cauliflower, carrot and red bell pepper — could be called one of those in-between Indian recipes. The composition of chickpeas and vegetables and the spicing is essentially north Indian, but the flavors are enhanced beautifully with the use of grated coconut and coconut milk that is so common to south Indian cooking and imparts wonderful additions of flavor and fragrance to the food. Nourishing and filling, this curry is sure to please anyone with a preference for north or south Indian food.
Christmas is a busy time for many, especially for those providing the lion's share of the nourishment. Sweet indulgences of course occupy a central role at this time of year and must be taken into account. Thankfully many treats can be prepared ahead of time and offered up when needed. The recipes presented here are not only easy to make and enjoyable year-round, but also good for you while satisfying a seemingly insatiable craving for sweetness. Additionally, all of the recipes are vegan-friendly, and that's another bonus because you'll be able to cater to a wider variety of tastes and preferences.
Check out these and other Christmas treat ideas on
Avocados are something I usually have on hand. They keep well if purchased when firm and they are simply wonderful just sliced and served up all on their own, just as is for a snack or as part of a meal as a nourishing and refreshing side. They also happen to be a fine addition to smoothies, salads, a key ingredient in many favorite dips, such as guacamole, and also feature delightfully in desserts. And this versatile fruit not only tastes good, it's good for a body too. The benefits of eating avocados are many, but to highlight just a few:
I fondly remember making holiday treats with my mom. An addictive and fantastically easy favorite, usually made for Christmas, were classic peanut butter balls. No doubt many of us remember those chocolate-coated treats with rice crispy cereal included for added crunch and texture. I never could resist peanut butter, and it often features in my no-bake treats and energy bites.
The only trouble with the classic ones I enjoyed as a child is that they are much too sugary for my tastes now. In addition to icing sugar, mom used not-so-natural peanut butter — you know the kind that isn't simply ground peanuts but instead a sugary spread. I loved them anyway, but over the years I've searched for healthier alternatives to satisfy my sweet tooth.
I've stayed true to the simplicity of the original recipe but left out butter, and used natural peanut butter and sweetener. I even bought a box of "healthy" sprouted rice crisp cereal, although I don't think that's really necessary — I shouldn't have felt guilt if I had used Rice Krispies, to tell the truth. But I dare say that this not-so-guilty version is even tastier and just as addictive as the original, and it also happens to be vegan friendly. Happily, if the urge to over-indulge is resisted, they are good for you too.